Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Review Comparison: Entwined by Heather Dixon

Review Comparison: Entwined by Heather Dixon

Review Comparison is an original feature I do where I pull out the pros and cons of the featured book mentioned in my review and other bloggers' reviews.

Click for my original review: 

The following bloggers kindly allowed me to include their reviews in this feature: 

Pica Reads
Yearning to Read
Books Your Kids Will Love
Lisa Tawn Bergren
A Backwards Story
Milk and Cookies: Comfort Reading: 5 out of 5
Erica: 5 out of 5
The Bookish Type: 5 out of 5
Happily Never Ending: 5 out of 5
Proud Book Nerd: 4.5 out of 5
Books Are a Girl's Best Friend: 4.5 out of 5
Bookworm1858: 4.5 out of 5
Dystopian Desserts: 4 out of 5
The Bucket List: 4 out of 5
Melissa: 4 out of 5
Sniffly Kitty: 3 out of 5

Please click on the links to read their full reviews!


Reviewers were almost unanimous in saying that, despite the book's high page count, Entwined was a fast read, though a few reviewers did note that the beginning was slow. The romances were liked by almost all reviewers, with the only complaints being minor desires for more passion and depth. Most reviewers commented on the family dynamics taking center stage, and this feature was almost unanimously liked. The biggest sources of disagreement were over the character development (some say perfect, others wished for more) and the character Bramble (loved and hated). 

~Writing, Pacing and Setting~

  • "distinct writing...[Heather Dixon] describes the scenes well, leaving a beautiful image in my head" (Happily Never Ending)
  • "...vivid imaginings...captivated me" (Books Are a Girl's Best Friend) 
  • "...interesting details make for a magical book" (Books Your Kids Will Love)
  • "Lush and descriptive, Entwined brings the tale to life like never before" (A Backwards Story)
  •  "It's breathtaking and a moving story" (Happily Never Ending)
  • "Dixon's writing is beautiful...rich and lush and emotions run deep in this story" (Melissa)
  • "I love Heather Dixon's voice. The diction was powerful, creative, and mind-blowing" (The Bucket List)
  • "Easy to read and follow" (Milk and Cookies: Comfort Reading)
  • "The only thing I found jarring were occasional modern phrases from the girls" (Lisa Tawn Bergren)
  • "...somewhat confusing terminology" (Dystopian Desserts) 
  •  "There were far too many repetitive phrases" (Small Review)

  • "...great fun to read" (Proud Book Nerd)
  • "I can't stop smiling and swooning and laughing...It was downright hilarious!" (Erica)
  • "...many laugh-out-loud moments" (A Backwards Story)
  • "Incredibly funny" (Pica Reads)
  • "...some very humorous scenes!" (Books Are a Girl's Best Friend) 
  • "The Penderwick-like titles for things like The Great Rosebush and Snowball Scandal were absolutely adorable" (Small Review)

  • "...delightful...This was a total escape read, delving back into a literal fairy tale...in a fresh new way" (Lisa Tawn Bergren)
  • "It stayed true to most of the tale, but differed in a few things, and adding an intriguing, magical, dangerous twist." (Erica)
  • "...manages to remain true to the original tale while still becoming its own entity" (A Backwards Story)
  • "...a fresh new take on the 12 dancing princesses" (Dystopian Desserts)
  • "The twists and turns and the originality of it all (all the while keeping really close to the Grimms' story) were almost too good to be true" (Yearning to Read)
  • "...a unique spin to the fairy tale and added a fresh and creative dimension that has really made it her own" (Books Are a Girl's Best Friend)
  • "...Dixon was able to beautifully combine elements of the original story while branching off in ways that fit so perfectly they could have easily been a part of the original" (Pica Reads)
  •  "My only complaint is that it's not as original as I had thought" (Proud Book Nerd) 
  • "Entwined just didn't stack up well enough against the two other 12 Dancing Princesses retellings I've read..." (Small Review)


  • "...fantastic job of pacing the story...I was engaged and interested throughout the book and to the very end" (Books Your Kids Will Love)
  • "Desipite its length, this book moves fairly quickly while still allowing me the chance to savor the story" (Bookworm1858)
  • "This is a big book (480 pages) but was so smoothly written that it didn't take any time at all to read it" (Milk and Cookies: Comfort Reading)
  • "It's a very quick read with a page count that's a lot longer than it seems" (Small Review)
  • "It captivated me from the very beginning, and kept a tight hold throughout the entire story!" (Erica)
  • "There were no breaks in the story line, the writing flowed gracefully from beginning to end, and there was always something new to chew on...Even when there wasn't a lot of action or mystery, it was still undeniably interesting..." (Yearning to Read)
  • "The pacing remained even and never dragged. Once the story sucked me in, it was impossible to put down" (A Backwards Story)
  • "...immediately pulls the reader into an enchanted world and brilliantly imaginative story" (The Bookish Type)
  • "...[I] was drawn in from the first page...it is long, but I didn't mind at all...it never drags. I barely noticed the length" (Pica Reads)

  • "I do have a gripe and that's about the story being way too long. I can definitely see it shorter by about another 1/4" (Melissa)
  • "It was very slow in the beginning, making it incredibly difficult to get into...after [a while] it got much better...the ending was fantastic!" (The Bucket List)
  • "...the plot is quite slow moving and although this allowed for the excellent character and relationship development, it did affect my enjoyment slightly" (Books Are a Girl's Best Friend)

Plot/World building

  • "...the trips to the woods were very well explained and logical" (Books Your Kids Will Love)
  • "The landscaping...was magical...Seriously, this world is perfect" (Yearning to Read)
  • "The forest itself is gorgeous and I could see it in my mind's eye" (A Backwards Story)
  • "The world-building in this novel is phenomenal" (The Bookish Type)
  • "...the world within came alive" (Proud Book Nerd)
  • "...a beautiful world...a gorgeous setting" (Books Are a Girl's Best Friend)
  • "I could hardly visualize anything in the villain's domain...I was SO disappointed, especially given that the regular world was described well" (Small Review)

  • "...a historical fantasy full of jaw dropping magic, gorgeous dancing, and fantastic characters" (The Bucket List)
  • "...good balance of old traditions, formal dancing at balls and modern behaviour without it seeming out of place" (Books Are a Girl's Best Friend)
  • "...a fun read but don't expect much emotional impact" (Sniffly Kitty)
  • "...encapsulated a beautiful vision alongside dark and misleading magics...brilliant" (Dystopian Desserts)
  • "Usually it is not explained why the princesses go off at night, and I appreciated that this retelling had a backstory that explained everything" (Pica Reads) 
  • "...key features of the original tale that are usually integrated in the retellings, but they aren't explained in this version...It felt sloppy" (Small Review)

  • "I love the way Dixon fleshes out [the dancing] and turns it into an entity of its own" (A Backwards Story)
  • "I learned things about dances that I had never heard about it" (Happily Never Ending)
  • "Dixon also managed to write the dancing scenes so that both dancers and people with very little knowledge of dancing could easily enjoy them" (Pica Reads)



  • "...their names are in alphabetical [order] which makes it easy for a forgetful reader" (Books Your Kids Will Love)
  • "...having the alphabetical names helped distinguish all of the different characters...This made things so much clearer and helped define each princess as their own character" (Pica Reads)
  • "...the author did a fantastic job making each character different in the book with such a huge cast of characters" (Books Your Kids Will Love)
  • "[Except for Azalea] I liked pretty much all of the other characters and I loved the responsible and sweet sister Clover" (Small Review)
  • "I loved each and every girl. They all had a part, each one was able to show her colors and to let the reader get to know them" (Erica)
  • "I loved all of the sisters, each and every one of them. Each one had her own lovely something to add to the story" (Yearning to Read)
  • "...each of the girls had a distinct personality" (Books Are a Girl's Best Friend)
  • "...excellent character and relationship development" (Books Are a Girl's Best Friend)
  • "Each character shined on the page" (The Bucket List)
  • "I quite like Azalea's sisters, though there's too many of them to remember" (Melissa)
  •  "The eldest three, Azalea, Bramble (!), and Clover, seemed to have the best defined personalities..." (Bookworm1858)
  • "...the author could have added more depth to all of Azalea's sisters...all their personalities felt one-dimensional" (Dystopian Desserts)
  • "...there isn't a whole lot of depth to the characters or the story" (Sniffly Kitty)

  • "[Azalea] was a strong heroine who had her moments of doubts. It made her more accessible for the reader" (Milk and Cookies: Comfort Reading)
  • "Azalea, the protagonist, was mesmerizing, struggling with issues of grief and anger in a believable way" (Lisa Tawn Bergren)
  • "[Azalea] feels like a real girl with real problems, and she faces them head-on" (The Bookish Type) 
  • "I thought she was very unfair and childish...then there's this one scene where she earns herself the Dumbest Move Ever award" (Small Review)
  • "...even after 400 pages, I couldn't find myself empathizing alongside [Azalea]" (Dystopian Desserts)

  • "I didn't really like Bramble" (Milk and Cookies: Comfort Reading)
  • "Thank heavens for [Bramble's] ill-mannered, unruly, outspoken, fiery personality. It definitely livened up the reading" (Erica)
  • "Bramble is a personal favorite" (Yearning to Read)
  • "I quite like Bramble" (Melissa)


  • "The story is really about family and love...and that just warmed my heart" (Bookworm1858)
  •  "[Entwined is] actually a moral story about the importance of family" (Sniffly Kitty) 
  • "This is really the crux of the plot, with everything else taking a backseat to the family's relationship" (Small Review)
  • "I loved the family dynamics so vividly described and drawn out" (Lisa Tawn Bergren)
  • "The focus on emotions and the relationship development...was emotional, complex, and ultimately endearing" (Small Review)
  • "The close bond between the sisters was adorable to see and was a joy to read about when so many YA book families are dysfunctional" (Books Are a Girl's Best Friend)
  • "Their relationship is heart-warming and adorable, reminding me of puppies playfully tumbling over one another" (The Bookish Type)
  • "...not unlike unruly puppies...quite adorable the way they tumble into mishaps and accidents, and it made me giggle" (Sniffly Kitty)
  •  "The other sisters make their presence known and all together, the sisterly affection and camaraderie was one of my favorite parts" (Bookworm1858)

  • "I liked the King and overall he seemed to be the one that did the most growing in the book. A nice touch" (Milk and Cookies: Comfort Reading)
  • "The King was a great character because of the conflict he brought to the story" (Yearning to Read)
  • "It is refreshing to see a parent-child relationship develop and grow, rather than stagnate or be pushed aside" (The Bookish Type)
  • "...the King was a significant presence and complex character, with a charm and charisma all his own" (The Bookish Type)
  • "[The King] just might be my favorite character with all of his complex stoicism covering up a softie heart" (Small Review)
  •  "It was nearly as magical as the secret passage to see the relationship between the princesses and the king grow and change" (Pica Reads)


  • "Great villain also, very creepy" (Milk and Cookies: Comfort Reading)
  • "eerie...I think his character's transformation in attitude towards the girls was very well written" (Sniffly Kitty)
  • "The antagonist was fascinating..." (Lisa Tawn Bergren)
  • "...without a doubt, one of my favorite antagonists...I never really knew if he was good or bad. He had me chilled to the bone and then doubting my own feelings about him" (Yearning to Read)
  • "...is mysterious and written in such a way, my arms got goosebumps as I read" (A Backwards Story)
  • "...close to perfectly written" (Pica Reads)
  • "The villain is creepy, no doubt about that...[but] I never felt that terrifying trapped feeling I usually get with this tale. The stakes never felt that high to me" (Small Review)


  • "The way the three romances proceeded was familiar...I liked all three guys and they all seemed honorable and decent chaps" (Bookworm1858)
  • "There were a lot of male characters presented in this story, which I loved. They were all so unique!" (Yearning to Read)
  • "Bradford is quite possibly the most huggable hero ever written...[their romance is] endearing...[and] cleverly plotted..." (The Bookish Type)
  • "I loved that not only Azalea had a romance, but Bramble and Clover also each had one" (Milk and Cookies: Comfort Reading)
  • "Each romance is different and fitting the personalities of the different sisters, but each one is adorable in its own way" (Small Review)
  • "...heart fluttering, brilliant, joyful, beautiful romances...each one as breathtaking and beautiful and romantic as the next" (Erica)
  • "I like the romance here and it did keep my interest in the novel for quite a bit" (Melissa)
  • "Love interests are introduced early on, allowing time for love to blossom...[I] loved meeting all of the potential suitors" (A Backwards Story)
  • "Brilliant...none of them are forced or out of place...it feels completely natural" (Pica Reads)
  • "...there was no love at first sight...cute" (Books Are a Girl's Best Friend)
  • "...I didn't feel satisfied with the romance!...I wished for them to have a more passionate romance than just the rare peck on the cheek" (Dystopian Desserts) 
  • "My one complaint is that I wish the guys and the actual romances were fleshed out a bit more than they were" (Small Review)

      What do you think? 
      Does the Review Comparison make you want to read the book?
      If you've read Entwined, how does your opinion compare to the ones presented here?

       Did you enjoy this post? 


      1. Thank you for including me on this! It's really cool to see so many different reviews compared. It's amazing how differently books are received!

      2. I'm really looking forward reading this book. Great reviews for it and pretty good ratings. :)

      3. What a great feature! I can tell you put a lot of heart and thought into this post :) I REALLY enjoyed reading it! Thanks so much!

        -Dystopian Desserts

      4. Oh, this one gets high marks from almost everyone. Cool!

        Have you always put the rating at the top of the post, if not I like it that way. If so, sorry I must have been asleep!

        Suggestion for next review comparison: Imaginary Girls

      5. Ham1299, You're so welcome! Thank you for participating :)

        Nina, Yup, this one seems to be liked overall. I hope you enjoy it!

        Carina, Thank you! I'm so happy you enjoyed it. Thank you for participating :)

        Gina, Yup, I was very much in the minority, and even I did like it. I've been putting the ratings at the top for a little while now (on your suggestion, if I recall!) Imaginary Girls has been requested a few times! It's on the queue :)

      6. YAY! :D looks great! :) Thanks so much for including me in this...hope to sign up again for another book someday. :)


      It's all about friendly conversation here at Small Review :) I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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